Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Ave, Jeff!

Although I'm now part of the evil culture that preps students for tests, I have to applaud Jeff's latest post on how the test-taking mentality is taking over and stultifying American academe. Jeff writes, with regard to widespread student complaints about a certain teacher who* they feel demeans them through his use of the Socratic method in his business classes:

What a baffling attitude students have! Socratic questioning presupposes student intelligence, the ability to think for oneself! Apparently, students these days look on learning as little more than the memorizing of class notes written down as the professor lectures, the aim being to pass a test, and any process that departs from the rapid conveyance of information is an inefficient waste of time. They don't see that genuine education means learning how to think, which entails slowing down to ask questions and look at an issue from various points of view as they learn to integrate facts and ideas on their own under the guidance of a good teacher.

Jeff gets it exactly right. For my part, I've been known to warn students that mastery of the SAT doesn't translate to the possession of actual life skills. Learning to think is a life skill.

*Why not "whom"? Good question. I may write a post on this, possibly over at the TEF blog.



Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

That was quick. You posted your response almost before I posted my musings!

Jeffery Hodges

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Kevin Kim said...

My goal is indeed to "antepost" you, but I obviously need to eat more of those faster-than-light neutrinos to make that happen.